KC Royals News: Salvy’s thumb, last place, and more

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

This long, distressing season that began for the KC Royals with a four-game series split with Cleveland in early April ends this week against those same Guardians. Cleveland hosts Kansas City for evening contests tonight and Tuesday, and a midafternoon tilt Wednesday, before the American League Central champion Guardians head for the playoffs and the Royals scatter for the winter.

While big news may not come until at least Thursday, the first day the Royals can reasonably be expected to publicly address the futures of manager Mike Matheny, pitching coach Cal Eldred, and the rest of the field staff, interesting things are still happening.

Will the last-place KC Royals manage to crawl out of the AL Central cellar?

Kansas City enters tonight’s game in Cleveland in last place. The small gap—1.5 games—between KC and Detroit isn’t mathematically insurmountable, but changing places with the fourth-place Tigers won’t be easy.

The Royals, of course, must contend with the Guardians, the best of the Central who’ve won 21 of their last 27 games, including two of the first three games of their current series with Kansas City. Detroit, winners of eight of their last 10, have four games left, including a Tuesday doubleheader, with the playoff-bound Mariners.

Kansas City will start veteran Zack Greinke, who’ll make his final start of the season—and possibly his last in a KC uniform—tonight, then follow with Daniel Lynch tomorrow and Jonathan Heasley Wednesday.

The KC Royals played it safe with Salvador Perez’s sore thumb Sunday.

Salvador Perez’s four-hit Saturday night against Cleveland included this leadoff home run in the seventh:

But moments later, close observers of a television shot into the Royals’ dugout could see Perez wasn’t always smiling as he looked at his left hand. He sat out the rest of the game.

And with good reason. As reported on the team’s official website Sunday, Perez had left thumb “soreness during swings” Saturday night; important, of course, is that’s the thumb Perez had surgically repaired earlier this season. Per the report, the Royals are “comfortable that Perez didn’t compromise the surgical procedure.” Nevertheless, they held him out Sunday.

Perhaps, with only three games left and out of an abundance of caution, Kansas City should just shut their $82 million All-Star catcher down for the season?

It looks like a long-time nemesis of the KC Royals will be back next season.

He doesn’t hit as well as he used to, and didn’t punish Kansas City this season like he has so frequently in the past. But it now appears 12-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera is ready to return to Detroit in 2023.

That could be bad news for Kansas City. Cabrera, who also has two AL Most Valuable Player awards and seven Silver Sluggers to go with those 12 All-Star berths, hit only .225 with one home run against the Royals this season, but owns a .305/.379/.481 slash, 35 homers, and 162 RBIs in 233 games against them over his 20-year career.

Next. 3 Royals should be on the bubble. dark

Tonight’s game at Progressive Field begins at 5:10 p.m. CDT.